22 December 1937

The Lincoln Tunnel in New York City opens to traffic.

(Originally published by the Daily News on December 22, 1937.)

The City of Skyscrapers yesterday opened its costliest hole in the ground – the $85,000,000 Lincoln Tunnel, connecting 38th St., Manhattan, with Weehawken, N.J.

Guns boomed, lights flashed and sirens screamed as ceremonies at both ends marked completion of the initial half of the twin tubes burrowed under the Hudson to aid in freeing mid-Manhattan from its traffic snarl.

Gov. Herbert H. Lehman, of New York, and Gov. Harold G. Hoffman, of New Jersey, made speeches hailing the engineering feat – into which are being poured enough $1 bills, which, if laid end-to-end, would stretch twice across the country and again as far as Denver.

The dedication exercises began at 11:30 A.M. at the Manhattan Plaza, where Gov. Lehman pulled a switch. A green light howled, a siren screeched and aerial bombs were set off. Sixteen planes circled overhead while troops stood at attention.

Later, at Weehawken, Gov. Hoffman went through the same procedure, and a group of 1,500 invited guests rode through the tunnel in special buses on a tour of inspection.

At 4 A.M. today, the subterranean highway will be opened to the public.